D&D 5E CleverNickName's Special Ranger Recipe

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
There's lots of chatter over in another thread about the Ranger class, and what it should be, and how it should look, and etc. I thought I'd take a little more, um, constructive approach, and write a new version that covers what I would like to see in the Ranger class.

So here's what I wanted in a ranger:
  • Item Crafting. I wanted the ranger to have the ability to craft useful items from the creatures they hunt. You know, give them a real, tangible reason to hunt these creatures in the first place. I felt this idea was largely missed in most renditions of the Ranger I've seen. So to help make it happen, I added a "Scrimshaw" ability that lets the ranger create magic items from antlers, bones, teeth, and whatever. It's a reskin of the artificer's Infusion ability. (I might change the name from "Infusions" later; this is just a WIP).
  • Low magical ability. This is a heated topic in some corners of this forum. Well, for my part? I wanted a ranger to have access to cantrips and a small number of spells, but I did not want it to meet or exceed the spellcasting power of full casters. So I used the warlock's spellcasting mechanic, and adjusted it downward just a bit. I didn't tack on any of the other features, like Invocations or Mystic Arcanum abilities, though, because again: I didn't want the ranger to equal or exceed the warlock. And I gave the ranger a handful of cantrips from the druid list, but only because the Ranger list doesn't have cantrips.
  • Average combat ability. This is also a heated topic elsewhere, but honestly? I didn't really think this needed to change. I kept the ranger's d10 hit dice, Extra Attack, weapon and armor proficiencies, and Fighting Style. I didn't want the ranger to meet or exceed the fighting ability of other combat-focused classes, and I think it's already there. It's certainly a good choice for combat, but I don't think many would say it's the best choice.
  • Exceptional exploration. I wanted the ranger to exceed all other classes in the Exploration tier of play. In my opinion no other character class should be able to touch the ranger when it comes to scouting, exploring, hunting, foraging, camping, and such. And it was surprisingly easy to implement to my satisfaction: give the Ranger the Survival and Nature skills for free, and use the alternate features in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. Now I understand that focusing on Exploration means that gamers who avoid or handwave this tier of play will have little use for the Ranger I've written. Like, if you don't do overland travel, if you don't run hex-crawl adventures, and if you don't track your rations, you're probably going to read this and shrug.
So here's my best attempt (and work in progress). Behold, my 40% Fighter, 25% Warlock, 25% Artificer, 10% Druid mash-up!

Character Class: Ranger
Summary: A wilderness-themed character class that focuses on exploration, item crafting, hunting, and survival.

CLASS FEATURES
As a ranger, you gain the following class features.
HIT POINTS
Hit Dice:
1d10 per ranger level (could be persuaded to go d8, though. But 1hp/level isn't a deal-breaker.)
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per Ranger level after 1st

PROFICIENCIES
Armor:
light armor, medium armor, shields
Weapons: simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools: Scrimshaw tools
Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
Skills: Rangers are skilled in Nature and Survival. They also choose two skills from the following list: Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Perception, and Stealth.

EQUIPMENT
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background.
  • (a) scale mail or (b) leather armor
  • (a) two shortswords or (b) two simple melee weapons
  • (a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
  • A longbow and a quiver of 20 arrows
  • A hunting knife, a hunting trap, and a set of Scrimshaw tools

CANTRIPS
At 1st level, you know two cantrips of your choice. You learn a third cantrip at 10th level, and a 4th cantrip at 14th level. These cantrips must be selected from the druid spell list.

When you gain a level in the ranger class, you can replace one of these cantrips you know with another cantrip from the druid spell list.


SPELL SLOTS
The Ranger table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your ranger spells of 1st through 5th level. The table also shows what the level of those slots is; all of your spell slots are the same level. To cast one of your ranger spells of 1st level or higher, you must expend a spell slot. You regain all expended ranger spell slots when you finish a short or long rest.

For example, when you are 7th level, you have two 3rd-level spell slots. To cast the 1st-level spell Hunter's Mark, you must spend one of those slots, and you cast it as a 3rd-level spell.


SPELLS KNOWN OF 1st LEVEL AND HIGHER
At 1st level, you know two 1st-level spells of your choice from the ranger spell list.

The Spells Known column of the Ranger table shows when you learn more warlock spells of your choice of 1st level and higher. A spell you choose must be of a level no higher than what’s shown in the table’s Slot Level column for your level. When you reach 7th level, for example, you learn a new ranger spell, which can be 1st, 2nd, or 3rd level.

Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the ranger spells you know and replace it with another spell from the ranger spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.


SPELLCASTING ABILITY
Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your ranger spells and cantrips, so you use your Wisdom whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Wisdom modifier when setting the savin throw DC for a ranger spell you cast, and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier.
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier.


SCRIMSHAW
At 2nd level, you've gained the ability to enchant items made from the bones, teeth, scales, and other materials, turning these hand-crafted objects into magic items.

To use this feature, you will need a set of Scrimshaw Tools. You will also a suitable amount of appropriate materials (enough bone to make a ring, enough animal hide to make a suit of armor, enough scales to make a necklace, etc.). Your DM may require other specific items as well, such as teeth from a specific kind of dragon, or the pelt of a certain wolf.

Over the course of a long rest, you fashion the item from the raw materials: carving the bone fragments into a ring, stitching the hides together into a pair of boots, etc. When the long rest is completed, you enchant the item with one infusion of your choice, turning it into a magic item.

An infusion only works with certain types of objects, as specified in the infusion's description (and at your DM's discretion). If the item you create requires attunement, you can attune yourself to the item as you infuse it. If you decide to attune to the item later, you must do so using the normal process for attunement.

You can infuse more than one nommagical object at the end of a long rest; the maximum number of objects appears in the Scrimshaw Items column of the Ranger table. You must craft each of these objects yourself, and each of your infusions can be in only one object at a time. Moreover, no object can bear more than one of your infusions at a time. If you try to exceed your maximum number of infusions, the oldest infusion ends and the newest infusion applies.

Infusions Known
When you gain this feature, pick four artificer infusions to learn. You learn additional infusions of your choice when you reach certain levels in this clas, as shown in the infusions column of the table below.

Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can replace one of the infusion you learned with a new one.


RANGER ARCHETYPES
This class variant does not modify or replace your favorite subclass options for the Ranger. Use whatever Ranger subclass you feel is the best for your character concept. (Personally, I'd run with Hunter.)

DEFT EXPLORER, CANNY, ROVING, TIRELESS, FAVORED FOE, PRIMAL AWARENESS, MARTIAL VERSATILITY, NATURE'S VEIL
These abilities and features are described on pages 56-57 of Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. Note that many of these abilities modify or replace the Ranger class features described in the SRD.

FIGHTING STYLE
As-written in the Player's Handbook. Note that there are new fighting styles on page 57 of Tasha's Cauldron of Everything.

TABLE: THE RANGER
(CleverNickName's Custom Homebrew Recipe)
LevelProficiency BonusInfusions KnownScrimshaw ItemsCantrips KnownSpells KnownSpell SlotsSlot LevelFeatures________________________________________________________________
1st+2----2211stCantrips, Favored Foe (1d4), Deft Explorer
2nd+2422221stFighting Style, Scrimshaw
3rd+2422321stPrimal Awareness, Ranger Archetype
4th+2422322ndAbility Score Improvement, Martial Versatility
5th+3422422ndExtra Attack
6th+3632422ndFavored Foe (1d6), Roving
7th+3632523rdRanger archetype feature
8th+3632523rdAbility Score Improvement, Land's Stride
9th+4632623rd--
10th+4843624thNature's Veil, Tireless
11th+4843724thRanger archetype feature
12th+4843724thAbility Score Improvement
13th+5843825th--
14th+5844825thFavored Foe (1d8), Vanish
15th+51054925thRanger archetype feature
16th+51054925thAbility Score Improvement
17th+610541025th--
18th+612641025thFeral Senses
19th+612641125thAbility Score Improvement
20th+612641125thFoe Slayer

Thoughts? Suggestions? Criticism? Anger?
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
@CleverNickName

I like the idea. However I'd prefer the ranger infusions to be different
  1. Restricted Infusion list.
  2. Swap 1 infusion per long rest.
  3. Magic Item Adept
  4. Unique infusions (Bane weapon)

Repeating shot crossbow and goggles of the night one day
Dragonbane longbow and fire resistant scale on the red dragon hunt
 

aco175

Legend
Do other classes get two saves that are physical, or do most get one physical and one mental. Here they are getting STR and DEX, but traditionally rangers would get WIS. Their casting is based on WIS, so the save would make sense.

They also get shield proficiency which is fine, but could go without it. All their other things point to 2weapon fighting, so not sure how many would use a shield.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Do other classes get two saves that are physical, or do most get one physical and one mental. Here they are getting STR and DEX, but traditionally rangers would get WIS. Their casting is based on WIS, so the save would make sense.

They also get shield proficiency which is fine, but could go without it. All their other things point to 2weapon fighting, so not sure how many would use a shield.

STR and DEX are the ranger Saves, they don't get Wisdom in the game. The real limit is one "common" save (DEX, WIS, CON) and one "rare" save (STR, INT, CHA). So, if Ranger's got Wisdom, they would need to get Strength for their physical, which... presents a different style of character.

Rangers have always presented themselves more as dexterous characters than strong characters, so DEX makes more sense, and then from the remaining list... Strength naturally follows.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
Do other classes get two saves that are physical, or do most get one physical and one mental. Here they are getting STR and DEX, but traditionally rangers would get WIS. Their casting is based on WIS, so the save would make sense.

They also get shield proficiency which is fine, but could go without it. All their other things point to 2weapon fighting, so not sure how many would use a shield.

Yep, I didn't change the Ranger's save throws...Str and Dex came from the Player's Handbook, and I didn't really see a need to change them. Same thing for the shield proficiency--that's in the Player's Handbook already, I didn't need to add it. In fact, I think it would go really well with the new Thrown Weapon Fighting style presented in Tasha's, for rangers that hunt with spears and javelins.

Here's a tabulated list of how my Ranger compares to the PHB version and the Tasha's version. Original PHB features and rules are in normal type, added features from Tasha's Caldron of Everything are in bold type, and my homebrew changes are in orange.

__________________________________________PHB VersionMy Version
Hit Dice, hit points per leveld10d10
Armor proficienciesLight armor, medium armor, shieldsLight armor, medium armor, shields
Weapon proficienciesSimple weapons, martial weaponsSimple weapons, martial weapons
ToolsNoneScrimshaw Tools
Saving throwsStrength, DexterityStrength, Dexterity
SkillsChoose three from Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Stealth, and Survial.Rangers are skilled in Nature and Survival. They also choose two skills from the following list: Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Perception, and Stealth.
Starting EquipmentYou start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
  • (a) scale mail or (b) leather armor
  • (a) two shortswords or (b) two simple melee weapons
  • (a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
  • A longbow and a quiver of 20 arrows
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
  • (a) scale mail or (b) leather armor
  • (a) two shortswords or (b) two simple melee weapons
  • (a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
  • A longbow and a quiver of 20 arrows
  • A hunting knife, a hunting trap, and a set of Scrimshaw Tools
Level 1 Class Feature: Favored EnemyChoose a creature type. Gain advantage on skill checks against this creature, and learn a bonus language.Replaced with Favored Foe in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. Gain the ability to "mark" creatures, and deal +1d4 damage against it; damage increases by level. Gain the Canny feature, below.
Level 1 Class Feature: Cannyn/aGain Expertise in a skill proficiency of your choice (double Proficiency bonus). Gain two additional languages.
Level 1 Class Feature: Natural ExplorerChoose a terrain. While exploring it, you aren't slowed by difficult terrain, you can't become lost, you are harder to surprise, you can forage better, and can track better.Replaced with Deft Explorer in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. Learn 2 languages and 1 skill proficiency.
Gain Roving feature at 6th level, gain Tireless feature at 10th level (see below).
Level 2 Class Feature: Fighting StyleChoose Archery, Defense, Dueling, or Two-Weapon FightingChoose Archery, Blind Fighting, Defense, Druidic Warrior, Dueling, Thrown Weapon Fighting, and Two-Weapon Fighting.
Level 2 Class Feature: SpellcastingStandard "one-third caster" progression, no cantrips, choose spells from Ranger list.Uses the Warlock's spell progression, and gains druid cantrips, choose spells from Ranger list. New spells in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything.
Level 2 Class Feature: Scrimshawn/aGain the artificer's ability to infuse homemade items with magic. (WIP, still need to create a list of infusions.)
Level 3 Class Feature: ArchetypeChoose archetypes at 3rd levelChoose archetypes at 3rd level.
Level 3 Class Feature: Primeval AwarenessSpend a spell slot to locate creaturesReplaced with Primal Awareness. Learn new spells at certain levels, and cast them without expending a spell slot once per long rest.
Level 4 Class Feature: Martial Versatilityn/aWhen you gain an ASI or feat, you can trade a fighting style you know for a different one.
Level 5 Class Feature: Extra AttackMake 2 attack rolls when using the Attack action in combat.Make 2 attack rolls when using the Attack action in combat.
Level 6 Class Feature: Rovingn/aYour walking speed increases by 5. You gain a climb speed equal to your walking speed. You gain a swim speed equal to your walking speed.
Level 8 Class Feature: Land's StrideFreely move through nonmagical difficult terrain and plants, gain advantage on saves against magical plants.Freely move through nonmagical difficult terrain and plants, gain advantage on saves against magical plants.
Level 10 Class Feature: Tirelessn/aGain temporary hp as an Action. Decrease levels of exhaustion after a short rest.
Level 10 Class Feature: Hide in Plain SightSpend one minute to camouflage yourself, getting a +10 bonus to Stealth.Replaced with Nature's Veil. Become invisible as a bonus action until start of your next turn.
Level 14 Class Feature: VanishHide as a bonus action, and cannot be tracked by nonmagical means.Hide as a bonus action, and cannot be tracked by nonmagical means.
Level 18 Class Feature: Feral SensesNo longer have disadvantage against creatures you cannot see, invisible creatures cannot hide from you.No longer have disadvantage against creatures you cannot see, invisible creatures cannot hide from you.
Level 20 Class Feature: Foe SlayerOnce on each of your turns, add Wisdom modifier to attack roll or damage roll against a favored enemy.Once on each of your turns, add Wisdom modifier to attack roll or damage roll against a Favored Foe.

All in all, I felt that Tasha's Cauldron of Everything got pretty close to my ideal Ranger, but missed the mark (heh heh) when it came to the Survival aspects of the class. A Ranger should be highly skilled at crafting stuff: tanning their own hides, making their own clothing, fashioning their own weapons, making their own medicines, and all that. So I borrowed that feature from the Artificer.

And there wasn't anything wrong with the Ranger's spell progression as it was written; it was more a matter of preference. I wanted the Ranger to have cantrips at the very least, and once I added those the warlock's spell progression just made more sense.
 
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